Forget Officer Friendly. Sometimes, you need Officer Save Me From a Fiery Death.
Such was the case Wednesday night when officer Jimmy Jalil, Jr. was called to the scene of a rollover on I-95 in Boca Raton. Two passengers had been ejected, but one female passenger was still trapped inside the Chevy Trailblazer, which was engulfed in flames.
According to Boca police, officer Jalil grabbed his fire extinguisher, which he gave to a retired firefighter who stopped to help. The retired fighter attempted to put out the fire, then break a window, with no luck.
"She was in the passengers seat, so it looked like the dashboard had pinned her legs down. And the fire was directly in front of her," Jalil recalled. "So I knew if I had not smashed out that window or shot out the window, she was going to burn."
Jalil then told everyone to stand back from the vehicle, told Brianna Motley, 22, to move far away from the window and proceeded to fire two shots into the rear passenger window. The window broke, he knocked dangling glass away and pulled Motley to safety.
"It wasn't until I smashed out the window using two rounds that I could hear her yelling for me to get her out," said Jalil. "She was able to prop herself just enough to where I could reach in and lift her up and out. And I just carried her as far as I could away from the fire...I could tell her legs were broken."
Motley and the other passenger, Shawn Thomas, 25, were taken to Delray Medical Center. The driver of the car, David Matthew, 31, died on the scene.
Jalil isn't quite comfortable with being labeled a hero.
"I actually get embarrassed when compliments are thrown my way so this is actually quite overwhelming," he said. "I can't even believe that this is actually happening right now.
"I guess saving a life is, in terms of magnitude, the biggest day I've had here."